The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee hosted its second annual DEI Days at MRO December 5-9, 2022, in order to promote and celebrate heritage among staff as well as provide educational opportunities for topics that are becoming more mainstream in society today.
At the beginning of the week the DEI committee hung a large global map outside of the breakroom asking staff to voluntarily place small push pin flags of different colors that represented their place of birth, cultural heritage, and a place or culture that they are interested in visiting or learning more about. The map will stay up as a visual representation of how diverse we are as a company.
The DEI committee also held two hybrid educational opportunities during the week that included watching TED Talks as a group, followed by discussion. The first was called “How Language Shapes the Way We Think.” Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shared examples of language and discussed the possibility that language actually does shape the way we think. Dr. Boroditsky believes that “the beauty of linguistic diversity reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is.” There are over 7,000 languages spoken around the world and this TED Talk gave us insight into how vastly different we think and interpret language as humans. The second TED Talk was called “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds.” Prominent author and speaker Temple Grandin shared her experience with autism as she described her ability to think in pictures and the differences between visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, and verbal thinkers. She made the case that she and other autistic brains have an ability to solve problems in such a way that neurotypical brains might actually miss. This session gave us insight into how vastly different neurodivergent individuals think from neurotypical individuals, and how important it is that we as a society embrace the differences and look at how fruitful different thinking patterns can be. Both sessions were a success, driving productive conversation and learning opportunities.
The DEI committee will continue the tradition of DEI Days in the fall of 2023 by providing additional education and training opportunities. MRO’s ability to embrace learning, consider other perspectives, and provide an empathetic environment for the hard conversations will continue to build trust among staff and further boost understanding amongst each other.
The intention of the DEI committee is to continue to create ways in which we celebrate our differences while learning to connect and create conversation. This driving force is what will continue to make MRO so successful along with the diverse subset of employees.
– Holly Haynes, MRO Sr. CIP Auditor